Borscht is a delicious steaming bowl of nourishing soup to brighten your mood. Beetroot gives this soup an earthy sweetness (and a vibrant colour), while a dash of lemon juice and fresh dill add a hint of freshness.
Ancient Greeks and Romans loved borscht, but Ukrainians brought the recipe to perfection… well, almost. There are more than 100 borscht recipes, and this is a leading cause of heated debates between Ukrainian ladies.
If a Ukrainian man tells a woman that she makes borscht better than his Mother, it is considered a better indication of his intent to marry her than an engagement ring.
Here’s the best recipe, according to Nadia, Eduard’s wife:
Ingredients for Ukrainian Borscht
- 3 medium beetroots, peeled and grated
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 cups beef stock + 6 cups water
- 3 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced into bite-sized pieces
- 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 cups of thinly sliced cabbage
- 2 Bay leaves
- 2-3 Tbsp white vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 clove of garlic
- 3 Tbsp chopped dill
- 2 celery ribs trimmed and finely chopped
- 1 small red bell pepper finely chopped, optional
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 3 Tbsp tomato sauce
Peel, grate and/or slice all vegetables, keeping sliced potatoes in cold water until ready to use.
Heat a large soup pot (5 ltr) over medium/high heat and add 2 Tbsp olive oil. Add grated beets and sauté 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until beets are softened.
Add 4 cups stock and 6 cups water. Add cabbage, potatoes and carrots then cook for 10-15 minutes.
Saute: While potatoes are cooking, place a large skillet over medium/high heat and add 2 Tbsp oil. Add chopped onion, celery and bell pepper. Sauté stirring occasionally until softened and lightly golden (7-8 minutes). Add the tomato sauce and stir fry 30 seconds then transfer to the soup pot to continue cooking with the potatoes.
When potatoes and carrots reach desired softness, add 2 bay leaves, 2-3 Tbsp white vinegar, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper, 1 pressed garlic clove, and 3 Tbsp chopped dill. Simmer for an additional 2-3 minutes and add more salt and vinegar to taste.
How long does Borscht last?
This recipe is easy to store in the refrigerator! And as a bonus, it only tastes better as it sits! So be sure to make enough for lots of leftovers.
In the Refrigerator borscht can last for up to four days. You’ll love how the flavours deepen and develop in storage.
What to serve with Borscht
Topping it with a nice, rich, full fat sour cream is a must!
Fresh dill is a must as a topping for this recipe.
Serve it with bread.
Give thanks to the Lord and enjoy!
Alternative recipe (for poor students):
Pour some hot water into a ruby red plate. Enjoy.